The overnight steamboat, a majestic feature of the Mississippi since before the days of Mark Twain, has been forced off the river by the current recession after nearly two centuries of continuous service on the river.
This year, there are no river boats offering Mississippi cruises that come with night cabins and last more than a few hours.
It was in 1811 that the New Orleans, the first steamboat in western waters, was piloted down the Mississippi. For nearly two centuries, steamboats plied the waters from St Paul, Minnesota down to New Orleans. During the late 19th Century, there were some 10,000 of them.
But the last remaining successors of the storied vessels that Twain, himself a riverboat pilot, immortalised in his 1883 work Life on the Mississippi, are now out of commission and may never again leave their berths.